Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, Problem solving

Be disruptive…

We often get stifled by organisational thinking, the systems in place and the overhead costs of new ideas, put the lid on fresh thinking.  We have a great new product or service but it gets costed out and is rejected before it is even tried.

We need to dream big and start small these are the words of Elvin Turner author of the upcoming book “Be less Zombie”.

In a recent TED talk he explained how a surfer wanted to film himself and literally stuck a camera with tape to his arm to record his surfing.  The implementation of his idea was very low tech and cost very little.  The Go-Pro was in place and as an individual he had dreamed big but started small.

In organisations we don’t take any risks there is awkwardness, and lack of sharing of ideas which leads to creative constipation.  Obviously the stats work against  with 9 out of 10 new initiatives failing.  However are they counted as failure on paper before any initiative is taken.  We create a hierarchy of assumptions in our head as to why something would not work, rather than just trying.

We must challenge our thinking as we now have many new companies who have done just that. Amazon, Uber and AirBnB have all been a disruptive influence on traditional ways of trading.

Think this week of a new way of doing a task, focus on being disruptive, look at everything with fresh eyes.  Dream big and start small.

 

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Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, Relationships, Stress management, Time management

I’m a celebrity teamwork…

Last night in “I’m Celebrity get me out of here” we saw the most amazing team work.  They were all involved in a challenge and there was no-one who did not have a role and no-one who did not perform.  Albeit very different to an office situation we can learn a lot from a group of people who come together and focus on a common goal.

The 7 hallmarks of a highly effective team give you an idea of how those random celebrities are learning to work together:-

  1. Shared vision – food seems to be the ultimate vision instead of focusing on winning as an individual this group seem to be motivated by enjoying decent meals together.
  2. Clear objectives – the trials are all about getting stars and the instructions are very clear.
  3. Team resources used to their best – sometimes they don’t get a choice as to who to deploy, but when they do, they think about the physicality and the enthusiasm of every member of the group.
  4. Open atmosphere – the camp is surrounded by cameras although in previous years we have seen whispering, the team at present seem very comfortable with sharing all their stories and some of their more intimate rituals.
  5. The team regularly reviews its progress – there is a lot of encouragement during a trial and a lot of commentary as to how much time you have left.  They chat about their experience and review their own performance.
  6. The team builds on experience – the trials get more horrific but the team know which critters are worse than others and seem tougher every time from learning from the last interaction.
  7. The team can ride out storms – when there are no stars or a camp mate is particularly down the group rally and morale lifts them.  Last night showed how they can work together with tight time constraints.

The office might not be the jungle, however how many of the hallmarks can be applied to your team.  As an exercise get each team member to give a score out of 10 as to where you are currently on each of the hallmarks.  Revisit the score in 90 days to see if you can come up with actions to improve the score.

For a team workshop please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, motivation

Creating “work” daily habits…

We find it very easy to shower every morning and clean our teeth, however in work we are sometimes at a loss to know where to start.

In work we need rituals and habits that make it easier for our brain to hit the ground running.  Remember when you learnt to ride a bike how hard your conscious mind was focusing on all the obstacles in your path and now you cycle looking at the view.

There are times when we require new thinking so it is good to challenge our brain however ritualising some of the daily or weekly tasks could free the mind when you want it to really work hard.

Think about habits and routine items within your business:-

  • Posting on social media, set a time each day where you go in and have the same system, of the platforms you visit, so that the tour becomes familiar and easy.
  • Set aside time in the week when you read the relevant articles for your business. Accumulate them each day so when you hit that weekly reading spot you can get in the zone.
  • Allocate a specific time to email and touch base with your clients, have it as an appointment in your diary so that it happens.
  • Have some daily disciplines in place, write down what you want to achieve each day and check your work in progress schedule.
  • Think about your daily habits, when do you open your email, when do you start project work and most importantly when do you eat.
  • Connect with friends and colleagues by booking coffees and lunches, ensure you have a pipeline at all times of connections, business and pleasure.
  • Review your day so that you can constantly improve your systems and processes.

Please do get in touch if we can help at nuggets to create some new rituals for you and your business bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation

Think and feel in numbers…

Liv Boeree a famous Poker player and her excellent TED talk explained how we quantify our thinking which gives us more precise language.

We use estimate words rather than defining what we actually mean.  I will “probably” meet you for a drink.  Instead we could talk in numbers “There is a 60% chance I will meet you for a drink”.

We often talk about a “gut” instinct however the reality is that you need slow careful analysis.  Your gut does not park your car or end your marriage.  Behind your gut is slow careful analysis as to whether it is doable based on size or financial implications, all about numbers.

When we are successful we might say we were lucky however if we go into the next project with just luck, we would fail.  We have strategic edge based upon our skill level which will be calculated by the number of times you have practised deploying that skill, again all about numbers.

As a poker player Liv Boeree leaves us with three summaries:-

  • Your gut is your friend and so is a cost benefit analysis
  • Success is sweetest when you achieve it across a large sample size
  • The future is unknown but you can dam well estimate it

 

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, motivation, personal impact

Personal Branding…

We all have a brand whether you are consciously aware or unaware it is there.  The more aware you are that it is there the more you can make it work for you.

At the very heart of our personality are things that we value in life.  This is often the very reason “Why” we do what we do.  Simon Sinek’s brilliant book “Start with Why” says it is not what we do or how we do it, the best start is the “why”.  This is the very core of your brand, why you get up in the morning and why you wear that particular jacket.

If we internally know the route of our decisions in life we start to form a frame of reference, for people to associate with.  These are not just external indicators as to whether you are smart or casual in your dress sense, but the more fundamental character traits, are you reliable and honest.  Leading brands are very clever at having clear frames of reference, what do they want to be known for e.g. are they a family product, healthy, original taste etc…

People will make assumptions within seconds of meeting us.  So how do we ensure we project our personal brand.  We need to sit down initially and think why do we do what we do and what does that tell us about our frame of reference.  The two combined give you an idea of what packaging/clothing compliments that brand.

Personal branding is not just when you meet some-one face to face.  Our brand now extends to our social media, so if you want to be taken seriously having a beach shot on your LinkedIn profile will not match your brand.  Look at your working environment an extension of your brand, how does it  look? Is it efficient, a word you had in your frame of reference, no-one would really like a perception of messy.

The word “professional” is very over used and what we really are trying to define is an effective personal brand.  Think about the memory you leave in people’s minds – “What shadow do you cast?” and remember it is not just the first time you meet them, you will leave that memory/shadow it is all the time.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation

Purposeful Practice…

We are all heading back to school and work and with renewed vigour as to how to do it differently.

Whilst on holiday I read the book “Bounce” by Matthew Syed and I have hit my desk today more motivated than a usual September start.

The book dispels this belief that Champions are born with talent.  Breaking the myth that is not genetic gives hope to all of us that with hard work we can all be as successful as we want to be within our own line of work.

Matthew Syed is well placed to write about success having been the Table Tennis Commonwealth Champion twice and the UK’s No. 1.  He puts his rise down to being in the right place at the right time.  He had access to a 24 hr table tennis club and his brother was already a junior champion and his coach worked at his school.

Practice and practice, but most importantly “purposeful” practice.  He explains it is about downloading the right piece of software.   Focusing on what you want to achieve and learn from the mistakes more than the successes.  If you go to the golf range and use the same club every time it may well be enjoyable, but what have you learnt.  The “Greats” practice the hard stuff, Beckham with his corners and Tiger Woods buries the ball in bunkers, it is focused and tough.

There is a belief that tennis players have great eyesight to see the ball.  Syed explains that it is perceptual cognitive repertoire it is knowing how the upper body of your opponent is going to move.  This comes from year on year, self motivation and high quality performance.

Your brain is growing with you as a muscle and storing all those sub conscious movements and thinking.  The process of expert performance is letting your software subconsciously perform as it has practiced so many times it knows the expert path.

This can be seen more obviously when the “Greats” choke.  In high pressurised environments the brain overthinks and tunes into the conscious mind rather than the subconscious.  Instead of thinking about the path to the finish line you analyse every single shot.  This is the same in business instead of thinking what you want to achieve at the meeting you overthink everything you say and end up saying too little or too much.  The way to overcome the choke is to enter each situation with a view that it does not matter, think of it as a practice session.

We need to help others grow their expertise and continuing growing.  We must praise for effort and not talent.  An example would be:-

“You were great in that meeting you are so good at getting them to the right price”

This seems a perfect piece of feedback, however it is saying you have done it and you are really talented.  What would be better is to recognise the effort:-

“You worked really hard to get them to the right price”

This gives the brain the message to think about the journey and what can I learn for the next meeting.

Matthew Syed’s best quote to finish on “Champions are not born they are made”.

Begin September with hard work and purposeful practice and you are making yourself a champion.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on motivation bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation, Problem solving

Highlights and Lowlights…

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We often use review tools when we are facilitating a team or strategy day and one of our favourites is Highlights and Lowlights.

Delivering a course that has been effective for a long period of time and gives a good return is a Highlight but might not necessarily be a surprise.

However a module within a workshop on email led to writing a book “Making email work for you” this was a Highlight and a huge surprise.

We can all identify with the time that Brexit is taking and that comes as a Lowlight but really no surprise.

The Lowlights that are surprise are those ideas that are brilliant in your head, however when they get executed they are not quite as effective as you thought.  Famous examples might be the Dyson washing machine.

Reviewing anything and everything is a leadership quality.  We can use the four boxes to review:-

  • Life
  • Work
  • Health
  • Diet

You will be surprised with the data you get from a review and importantly what you go onto do with the knowledge.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk